Protection of Data Processing Equipment and Media

Planning for emergencies is crucial to the survival of your business. Remember the old expression “businesses don't plan to fail, they fail to plan.” Your dealership can flourish in a post-disaster environment if you are ready and able to accommodate customers, because many of your competitors will not be. An emergency preparedness plan will provide you and your employees with instructions and guidance on what to do before, during and after an emergency.

Computers and electronic media are a critical part of dealership operations and merit special attention. They track inventory, produce financial reports, store information, and communicate with financial institutions and credit agencies. It would be impossible for any business to continue operating efficiently for very long without computer support. In the event of an emergency, preservation and protection of equipment and stored data become a top priority.

  • All computer systems should be backed-up daily and the copies moved off-site for storage.
  • Important data stored on personal computers should also be backed-up and stored off-premises.
  • Identify critical data files, both paper and electronic media, for relocation during an emergency.
  • Install power surge protection on all sensitive electronic equipment.
  • Conduct annual inspections of ground wiring and connections.
  • Reserve storage space prior to an emergency for protection of equipment, documents, and data files.
  • Contract in advance with a vendor to supply power generators and computer equipment immediately following a disaster.
  • Ensure that someone in the company is trained on how to properly and safely move computer equipment (secure hard drives, back-up operating systems, etc.).
  • Equipment that cannot be relocated should be moved as high above floor-level as possible, moved to a central interior location and covered with plastic to protect against wind and water.
  • Dealerships in hurricane prone areas should have materials on hand and be prepared to tape windows and close blinds.
  • Unplug everything including telephones, fax machines, printers, postage machines, copy machines, and all other electric equipment.
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